by Ivica Vrancic
Ivica Vrancic is a consultant and trainer. He is also a founder of Verantius, a company that provides management development and human resources consultancy and services.
The work efficiency of an employee is a combination of motivation and ability. It can be expressed by this simple formula: WE = M x Ab. This formula indicates the importance of motivation for any ultimate goal, while the multiplication function tells us that even if the individual possesses all the necessary knowledge, skill, and even experience — but lacks motivation — then the efficiency of that individual will equal zero. Of course, the opposite also applies: motivation alone is not enough for successful and happy performance.
To avoid very complex definitions of motivation, we can define motivation in the following way: Motivating people means bringing them to a position or state within which they are ready to exert additional effort.
“High-level” discussion about motivation usually considers a variety of sophisticated tools such as relaxation rooms, creative rooms, flexible assignments, a colorful and pleasant work environment but this topic is unjustifiably over-considered as these perks are not always applicable to all types of jobs.
A large number of people today are doing heavy physical work or repetitive tasks on a daily basis such as cashiers, merchandisers, laborers, field salesman, and truck drivers. Elements of motivation for these types of employees are not sufficiently discussed. The direct manager has the crucial role in the motivation of a person. The direct manager has the responsibility to make sure that their needs are satisfied and fulfilled, such as:
- Basic rules, procedures and work organization are understood
- Technical and physical conditions of work are satisfying and comfortable
- Regular payments of basic salary are made
- Ensuring the fairness of the reward system across employees
- Defining responsibility and clear business roles for each individual are clear
In order to maintain motivation, each manager also has to utilize higher-level motivators such as:
- Recognize good performance more frequently than poor performance
- Pay attention to methods of communication not just the message or wording
- Recognize effort and hard work even with poor results
- Set demanding but attainable and realistic goals
- Involve employees in problem solving and assignment creation
In the execution of assignments, managers should consider how to:Explain the context and purpose of assignments
- Make tough and unpopular decisions
- Work directly and regularly with employees on their professional development
- Monitor and be mindful of important private needs and situations of each employee
No one else in the organization has a greater influence on the motivation of their employees than their direct manager so the more that a leader keeps these ideals in mind then the happier and more successful both employee and manager will be.
“One comes to the company for the company itself, and one leaves the company because of the boss.”
You can learn more managerial techniques in my book And People? Why are Managers’ Cars the Most Import Asset in Every Organization? which is published by Technics Publications.